Report Back by Elena Russell
Photos curtesy of Declan Jordan, Rex Aspeling, John Bremner and Dave Rimmer.
Umbogavango in Winter came up trumps – it was a beautiful day and the birding was great as can be seen from the superb pics. There were 19 members & 1 visitor and we broke up into 2 groups – thanks to Ismail for leading the 2nd group.
White-eared Barbets in abundance;
then we had the most lovely views of 6/7 Black Collared Barbets sitting in the top of a fever tree catching the sun (what a great pic!!).
Maybe not so many water birds as in Summer but Black Crake were seen a number of times as well as a very strange hybrid goose hanging out with a pair of Egyptian Geese and their chicks (any ideas on the lineage?).
Raptors: Black Sparrowhawk, Lanner Falcon, African Fish Eagle and then the piece de resistance a Palm-nut Vulture circling overhead and giving us the most fabulous display – I think we then decided it was a glorious day.
We had a brief glimpse of a Natal Spurfowl; Giant, Malachite & Brown-hooded Kingfishers, Cape, Pied & Mountain Wagtails, plenty of flycatchers and sunbirds and lots, lots more – our count was 74 but a few of us stayed on for another short walk and we had large flocks of Red-back Mannikins and a sole Blacksmith Lapwing flew into sight just as we were leaving making a total count of 76 – not too shabby for a Winter’s morning birding.
The Tapinanthus (kraussianus(?) was flowering on lots of the trees much to the enjoyment of the sunbirds.